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DULUTH - It's been two days of major victories for the city of Duluth. First, the Last Place on Earth verdict, and now – on Tuesday – a break in the Fond-du-Luth Casino battle.
After back and forth appeals, a federal district judge ordered the Fond du Lac Tribe to pay millions of dollars in casino back pay to the city of Duluth from 2009 and 2011.
The band stopped paying the city in 2009 -- citing the 1986 revenue-sharing agreement went against the National Gaming Regulatory Act.
A future agreement has not been reached. But in the meantime, the back-pay ruling is a step forward for Duluth. The total amount is roughly $12 million in unpaid casino revenue.
Mayor Don Ness held a press conference Tuesday to declare the victory.
"Gives us confidence that the $12 million dollars owed to the city of Duluth will be paid, and that the tax payers and residents of Duluth will have the benefit of those dollars," Ness said.
We reached out to Fon du Lac Tribal Chairwoman Karen Diver by phone Tuesday. She said the ruling was not unexpected and that the band will be reviewing the outcome with legal counsel. Diver went on to say the tribe believes Mayor Ness is actually overstating the award amount.
With all that said, Tuesday's new developments strictly dealt with back pay, but there's still no payments being made to the city of Duluth.